The social services industry is highly regulated with benchmark standards articulated in legislation. Over three days, 26-28 June 2017, ICLA was assessed, by independent agency DNG-VL, against the National Standards Mental Health Services and the National Standards Disability Services. I am delighted to say the the result was fabulous. However I will leave it to the Chair of the Board Nigel Harvey to relive the experience for you:


I am standing outside ICLA still slightly stunned by the feedback session Richard Crebbin and I attended a few hours ago with the external accreditation and ICLA senior management teams.

These people were tough as.  Pene who a few of us met Monday is a compliance expert scraping for flaws through every document and factoid presented to the point even of proudly spotting a “GRNC” (vs GNRC) typo somewhere in several metres of policies and other documents  she investigated. Her partner Joe is a charming but astute interviewer and flaw hunter who even rummaged through a garden shed!

Pene told us less than 20% of their charges get through upfront, albeit most can clean up sufficiently in the 90 days subsequently allowed to get the fully competent ticks they take such jealous care about awarding – and that we must have to breathe.

So I arrived  a few minutes late with some trepidation albeit fairly confident we’d at least have some weeks to resolve any matters but really not wanting to load yet more onto our senior management team after weeks of preparation work.

Well, I walked in to see Karen and John grinning and thumbing up and everyone else beaming almost absurdly.

We not only passed despite increasingly probing efforts to find deeper flaws than those we tidied up on the spot …….

We are outstanding.  We are best practice.  We have a laundry list of commendations not least for Lynne’s leadership, “walks on water” they cheerfully quoted one of our staff.  We are not just above average; we have handfuls of documents and procedures that are better than anything they have ever seen.

Some “Beautiful” even per Joe.

Well in the top 5% they said.

Joe has audited more than 100 organisations in more than a dozen years: Pene doubtless more.

They managed to find four things out of the 283 they look at that while to standard were less than perfect.  Four!

Joe allowed that ICLA is “very impressive”, “staff are very happy, people we support too”  “full marks to you”.

Pene said that it was all “excellent feedback”. Outstanding she said.

To be fair having been pushed into the result they were generous and I wish we’d taped the thing as no doubt some of the glow will be lost in the cabalistic bureauspeak of the formal report which we receive in a few weeks which I must say I am looking forward to reading.

But yes we can quote it proudly, with their logo and seal of approval and yes there will be a collective lift in the heel, and please have no  doubt  ICLA is in a new chapter of excellence!

Pip pip